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Long Island weather: The rain is moving out, with a so-so chance of snow ahead

Rain is forecast for Long Island on Friday.

Rain is forecast for Long Island on Friday. Credit: Newsday

It may be wishful thinking, but it's the season of wishes. Snow on Christmas Day. Or more accurately, snow held over from Monday.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Upton are looking at whether it'll be cold enough on Long Island for precipitation to turn into light snow Sunday into Monday. But the chance of rain and snow showers is only about 30 percent, the service said. For snow, conditions will have to be chilly enough to overcome the ocean's moderating influences, forecasters said.

If all that works out, folks looking out their windows on Christmas Eve could see a white dusting.

"I'll take it. You have to take what you can get here," meteorologist Jim Connolly said from the Upton office. 

"If we get a good coating, it could last into Christmas. If you get an inch or two, it could stick around."

Still, it'll look like smooth sailing after clouds dumped up to 3 inches of rain on Friday, a big getaway day for the holidays. Rain was expected to taper off about 9 p.m., with wind gusts of up to 31 mph.

Generally, 1 to 2 inches had already soaked the Island by 1:30 p.m., the service said. By around 3 p.m. rainfall so far had amounted to 2.68 inches in Greenlawn; 2.71 inches in Plainview; 2.20 inches in Melville; 2.13 inches in Farmingdale; and 1.54 inches at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, based on unofficial reports from the weather service.

 The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for Long Island until 1 a.m. Saturday. Flash flooding shut down roads, including westbound Northern State Parkway in Dix Hills and Route 110 in Huntington, the weather service reported. Downed utility wires and trees disrupted traffic in several parts of Suffolk, police said. 

Meteorologists warned the public to secure holiday decorations as wind gusts clocked in at 65 mph in Orient; 57 mph, Etons Neck; 48 mph, Shirley airport; and 45 mph in Bayville, based on unofficial reports.

MacArthur Airport around noon reported winds from the south gusting to 30 mph, as well as an especially mild temperature of 60 degrees, surpassing the record for the day, set in 1973.

PSEG Long Island was reporting nearly 1,200 power outages shortly after 2 p.m., as the high winds brought down trees and tree limbs.

But the weekend leading up to Christmas wishes should be clear. Saturday should be partly sunny and breezy, with 13- to 20-mph winds, gusts of up to 33 mph, a high of 49 and a night low of 29, the service said. The winds calm down a little Sunday, which will have a high of 42 and possibly precipitation as the nighttime low dips to about 34, meteorologists said.

Monday will be partly sunny, with 43 as a high and 29 as a low, while Christmas will be sunny, with a high near 40 and a low near 29, the service said.

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